Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ways to celebrate National Literacy Day

Today is Canada's national family literacy day and there have been events at libraries, schools and community centres across the country. In addition to revelling in some favourite books, today is a great day to talk about how important literacy and education are in changing the world.
Did you know that as of the year 2000 almost a billion people are unable to read a book or sign their names?  Or that what the world spends on weapons each year would have been enough to put  every child into school by the year 2000? And yet it didn’t happen.*

What can you do as a family to make a difference?
~ Organize a book drive to benefit your community. Check with literacy centres, public health, libraries, food banks or schools to find appropriate recipients.

~ Donate to literacy charities. Through Care Canada $36 will send a child to school for a year. Or you can donate a set of textbooks for $7  through the American version of the Care website. Greg Mortenson's organization is another excellent one to choose. Or donate to local literacy organizations and programs. One of our local used bookstores allows you to donate your credits to the local literacy council, which provides them with funding and a source of discounted books on topics relevant to their needs.

~ Buy your books from Better World Books which supports literacy programs around the world.

~ Volunteer to read at a school, senior's centre or adult literacy centres. Become a tutor or a reading buddy.

~ Celebrate literacy with your own children. Have poetry tea parties, throw birthday parties for favourite characters, frame illustrations from favourite but worn out books, start a book club or a book review blog, bake cookies for your favourite librarian, provide allowance in the form of book store gift certificates.

~ Write your politicians about the importance of education in eradicating poverty, disease and violence around the world and urge them to support local and global programs with those goals.

~ Read.

The Wednesday surprise by Eve Bunting, Eve,
The day of Ahmed's secret : Florence Parry Heide, 
Read for me, Mama by Vashanti Rahaman, 
The lion's share by Chris Conover,
Raising Sweetness by Diane Stanley,
Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest, 

Aunt Chip and the great Triple Creek dam affair by Patricia Polacco,
Listen to the wind : the story of Dr. Greg and Three cups of tea by Greg Mortenson,

* statistics from here

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